COMMUNITY courses around Northwich will continue despite funding cutbacks.
Concerns had been raised that a number of adult education courses run by Mid-Cheshire College at venues around the area were under threat because of funding cutbacks by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) - but while one venue will no longer be used, the vast majority of courses will go ahead from September as planned.
However, there is likely to be higher charges for many as college chiefs attempt to fill the funding shortfall.
A spokeswoman said: 'We are getting less funding from the LSC so the fees will unfortunately have to go up for the courses - though not dramatically, so they should still find them accessible.
'The LSC feels it cannot put as much money into 'leisure and pleasure' courses so we as a college need to make up the shortfall to make them viable - it is not about the college wanting to make more money from them.
'The only course we are canceling is in Tarporley, and as far as others locally are concerned they are all on the schedule for September which will be available in June. Many are run at the college, but we still have around 20 other venues like community centres, church halls and high schools.'
Weaverham Cllr Eileen Bland said residents who use one of three Wednesday art classes at Weaverham Community Centre had been concerned they might be axed. She said she was pleased they would carry on, but was worried about a possible price hike.
She said: 'For a lot of pensioners a few pounds makes all the difference and the support funding is what makes it possible for them to join these sort of activities.
'It's such a valuable commodity for the community. A lot of people can feel a little lonely and isolated, and this brings older residents together in a safe, warm environment where they can meet, chat and have social interaction.'
Regarding the Weaverham courses, the college spokeswoman said: 'They have been running for quite a number of years and there are no plans for them to stop.
'We look around for alternative venues and the community centre at Weaverham is quite a lot more expensive than some of the other venues, but for the time being we will be staying there.'